Have a drinking water well? Should you have it tested?

It is recommended that a residential well is tested for at least coliform bacteria annually to help verify that the cleanliness of the well has not been compromised by contamination. If you have noticed changes in your water such as an unusual odor or color change then you should have your water tested now. A good indication of infiltration by surface water is if your well becomes cloudy or muddy after it rains. Farm wells should at least be tested for coliform bacteria and nitrates.

A complete mineral analysis may need to be done to check for causes of staining, taste problems, or if heavy metals are suspected. Some common stains from minerals are rust colored or dark stains at toilet water surface and other water fixtures.

Other tests that are available include analysis for pesticides, herbicides, petroleum products and other organics. These tests are not usually needed on a routine basis, but may be needed if there is a reason to suspect contamination.

Possible sources of well contamination include:
storm water infiltration
septic tanks
underground fuel tanks

Many factors can affect whether a well is more susceptible to contamination. These include, but are not limited to: the type of well, the quality of well construction and wellhead protection, soil type, water table conditions, septic tank distance from the well, and proximity of contaminant storage to the well.

This article is a guideline only and as all situations can vary, we encourage you to contact us to discuss your individual needs.



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